What Footprint Will You Leave?


Whether you are Visiting or a Resident – You’re Part of the Community!

Cape Cod’s long tradition as a premiere travel destination has grown a vibrant maritime community. In addition to more than 200,000 year-round residents, over 4 million people visit each year. Across 413 square miles, that’s a population density of nearly 9,600 people per square mile – nearly equal to Boston!

The Cape thrives on tourism, and we want our visitors to feel at home. That means we must take joint ownership in creating an environment that remains pristine. Whether you’re here for a day, a week, or all your life, you leave a footprint on our story. Make it a footprint you’re proud to leave behind. Learn more about CARE from its founder here.


Welcome to CARE for the Cape & Islands!

The Cape and Islands bring a unique pleasure to our lives. The beauty, ecology, and culture form a place unlike any other. It’s a destination that inspires. It’s a character we must preserve for generations to come. And, it takes change to stay the same.

Join Us to Create A Responsible Environment-Together!

CC Fisherman Alliance

The Chatham-based Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance has been supporting Cape Cod’s fishing fleet for more than 25 years. Founded in 1991 by a group of local hook fishermen, the organization was built to help give a statewide and national voice to the small-boat fishing industry centered there.

Provincetown Sidewalk Buttlers

An innovative means to keep cigarette butts off of the street and out of the ocean, these sidewalk “buttlers” have been installed throughout the town of Provincetown in high traffic areas. Not only are these butts collected, but the materials are both recycled and composted, keeping them out of the garbage. It is our hope that this will be replicated throughout the region and beyond. Thank you Provincetown Recycling and Renewable Energy Committee for initiating this project!

Sea Captain's Mural

Marking the entranceway to Hyannis Sea Captains’ Row, this mural hangs on Bradford’s Hardware Store, on Pleasant Street, just off of Main Street in Hyannis. This was a true community project and is an extension of CARE’s  2015 funded walking trail and map. Artists Jackie Reeves and Mary-Ann Agresti were assisted by volunteers from the tourism community who helped with final touches to the mural. For a more complete history check out this article on “Cape Cod Wave”.

Beach Trash to Treasure on Nantucket

Maria Mitchell Association offered a two-week artist in residence program combining art, up-cycling, education, and conservation led by Cindy Pease Roe. Nantucket, as an island community, values its ocean resources tremendously as a continued source of food and income. There is significant concern over the growing amount of trash that finds its way to our beaches and oceans and ultimately to the birds, fish, and mammals that rely on the ocean habitat.

Love Cape Cod? So Do We!

“People have long been attracted to Cape Cod whether to live here year round, part-time or for a vacation by the natural beauty of Cape Cod.  It is imperative that we do our part to maintain that beauty for generations to come, our livelihoods and the livelihoods of those to come depend on it.” 

Patrick Foran

Owner, Foran Realty

“What CARE is building is a link that brings together the people that call this place home with visitors that share a common purpose. We love it.”

Jim Wolf

Director, Cape Air Sustainability

“CARE plays a vital role in educating Cape Codders and our guests of our shared responsibility to sustain what makes this place so special, and in equipping and empowering us to fulfill that responsibility,”

Wendy Northcross

Executive Director, John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

“At the chamber we’re working to find a balance between the development needed for long-term sustainability and protecting our environmental and cultural assets. This is one of many reasons why CARE’s work should be supported.”

Paul Niedzwiecki

CEO, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce:

“Cape Cod has so many different communities each with its own distinct character and concerns. CARE plays a vital role in connecting us and making us stronger. They share resources, bring fresh ideas to the table, and draw businesses, non-profits and towns together so we can work toward a common goal of preserving this special environment.”

Stephanie Murphy

Sr. Communications Specialist, WHOI Sea Grant

Join CARE Now to Protect What You Love!

CARE needs your support to change the way we think about the impact that our actions make. Together, we can provide more experiential learning programs, opportunities that promote sustainable travel and an overall sustainable mindset. CARE believes education is most influential at a grassroots level. By involving our businesses, residents, and visitors alike, we build collaboration connections that strengthen this extraordinary community. As knowledge grows, action becomes organic. Your support for CARE’s programs demonstrates leadership and pride in creating a responsible environment that make a positive impact on the Cape and Islands. Sustainability does more than preserve your personal relationship with our heritage and ecosystem. It preserves the very essence of Cape Cod. And that’s real change! 


Consider supporting CARE as an alternative to purchasing wedding favors and make a difference. A donation to mark a celebration will help to ensure that special memories and this special place will coexist long into the future.

Corporate Social Responsibility

During your next meeting or conference consider including a volunteer activity in your agenda. Local nonprofits and recreational areas welcome your assistance. At the end of the experience your attendees will have learned something new and be proud of their accomplishments.

Service Learning:

Hands on experiences are the best way to learn. Many students are even required by their schools to complete service learning hours and when they apply for university and employment, these activities will ad favorably to their applications. Why not include an activity during your trip where your students learn about the area’s environment and culture and leave feeling good!

Help Chart a New Course to Cape Cod and the Islands.

CARE is a different kind of philanthropy promoting a different kind of partnership. We directly engage with the lifeblood of our community – our visitors – by welcoming your involvement in our fun, educational activities. As part of the growing global movement toward sustainable travel, we focus attention on both the Cape’s fragile ecosystem and its significant place in American history. Think about it. Why wander around town when you could follow Falmouth Preservation Alliance’s walking map of Falmouth’s Heritage Trail or the Sea Captains’ Trail in Hyannis that leads you to the Cape Cod Maritime Museum? You’ll learn about maritime history, Falmouth native Katherine Lee Bates, the author of “America the Beautiful”, historic buildings and landscapes that have shaped our towns over 325 years, while cultivating awareness of the resources that continue to sustain it. Or, visit Waquoit Bay Reserve to learn about the indigenous peoples’ special relationship with their environment, tour Cape Abilities Farm, a hydroponic farm that provides jobs to local residents with disabilities or find out about important “pollinators” at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster. Visit our Funded Projects page for more ideas.

1% of the Planet

We are a proud nonprofit member and welcome your support through your agreement to donate to us through their program. Find all of the details on how it works here.


Center for Responsible Travel (CREST)

CARE for the Cape & Islands™ is pleased to have the support of its former fiscal sponsor, CREST. CREST’s Mission is to promote responsible tourism policies and practices so that local communities may thrive and steward their cultural resources and biodiversity. They are a unique policy-oriented research organization based in Washington, DC dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. CREST assists governments, policy makers, tourism businesses, nonprofit organizations, and international agencies with finding solutions to critical issues confronting tourism, the world’s largest service industry.

CARE is proud to join the Future of Tourism movement, comprised of a coalition of six non-governmental organizations that have come together to stand united in an appeal for change.

As world tourism begins recovering from the Coronavirus crisis, the Future of Tourism Coalition shares a global mission: to place destination needs at the center of tourism’s new future.

Decades of unfettered growth in travel have put the world’s treasured places at risk – environmentally, culturally, socially, and financially. Now the tourism industry faces a precarious and uncertain future. Re-centering around a strong set of Guiding Principles is vital for long term deep-rooted growth.

We invite you to be a part of this movement. Additional information is available here.

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